Monday, December 10, 2007

What the cluck?!

Is a Singaporean capable of transcending his/her reality?

I read in the New Paper today about the law undergraduate who decided to wear red and walk to the Shangri-La hotel to support some democratic cause for Myanmar. Yes, I read the New Paper, mainly for sports and the occasional celebrity gossip.

It seems that we have developed a culture where it is deemed hazardous, risky and dangerous to hold a political belief and stand up for it, or even articulate it. We risk losing our comforts and privileges, or so we fear.

If this undergraduate was jailed for disobeying the officer-on-duty, what would become of his education and employability? On the other hand, what harm could he have caused any way?

I think most of us lucky bunch are well-fed like chickens in a farm. We are fed so fat that we feel comfortable with the food, but the obesity-inducing comfort itself prevents us from understanding what the farm is all about or looking beyond the farm itself.

You have a job. You have children or parents to take care of. Will you be crazy enough to hold a political belief that is not expected of you to hold? Will you be crazy enough to fight for a cause like human rights?

You have your flat. You have your steady income. You have a healthy number of friends and relatives who care about you. So why fight for rights?

You have a computer you bought with your money. Why do things that may result in it being confiscated by the secret police? Any way, who does the secret police protect? The citizen or the state?

There’s another set of questions in another domain. Why should these comforts be compromised when you fight for rights? Who is compromising them for you?

In our land, skinny chickens are the least visible. For the fat ones that hop up and down to see beyond the farm’s fences, they are either taken away to be fed more, so they wouldn’t be able to hop as high, or their food privileges are taken away, so they are too weak to hop at all. For those chickens that cluck too loudly, they are either taken good care of with more food so they would be contented enough to shut up, or they’ll probably be slaughtered and never to be seen again.

What makes me wonder is the real purpose of having the farm of chickens and the need to feed the chickens so fat that they see no incentive to do something “funny”.

If there really is a farm with its seemingly flawless feeding mechanism, is there any way to transcend the farm?

The skinniest chickens, plus the not so healthy ones, will be more concerned with having more feed. They will never bite the hand that feeds, nor question the feeder.

There also seems to be some efforts to feeding the decent ones to the point of obesity such that there is no incentive for this particular bunch of chickens to do anything else. Higher levels of comforts are achieved through such feeding that the removal or a dip in standard will be considered a huge sacrifice and loss on the part of the chicken.

As for the fatter ones, they’re just continually being fed. This way, they, like the skinny ones, do not only not question the feeder, but also continue to praise it, contributing to the sustenance of the farm.

Can the chicken ever look beyond its feeder, and its farm? Will it ever be able to question the source of its feed? Can the chicken be less fearful of the farm? Can the chicken hold some beliefs that are different from that of the farm? Is the chicken farm being run for the chickens (by the chickens)?

Is it wrong for a group of chickens to gather together and hop around? Why should the chicken ask the farm for permission to hop and look beyond the fence?

Okay. Let's not stretch the logic. It's time for dinner.

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